THE TRADITIONS OF MEN
Much error has crept into the doctrines of modern Christianity through the traditions of men. So much diligence is required of us to search the scriptures and adhere to them alone for establishing doctrine and instruction in righteousness.
The unchanging Son of God, through whom all things were created, sanctified the seventh-day Sabbath at creation. The Sabbath is a perfect gift to man that was given before sin entered the world:
Genesis 2:2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
Genesis 2:3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
It is interesting to note that the Commandment regarding the gathering of manna was given before the Sabbath Commandment was given on Mount Sinai. (Exodus 16) The omer of manna placed in the Ark of the Covenant is a perpetual testimony of God’s faithful provision and that the seventh day Sabbath is the only day that The Creator will accept as his holy day.
Exodus 16:26 Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.
Exodus 16:27 And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none.
Exodus 16:28 And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?
It is profitable for us to review the Sabbath Commandment as our unchanging Christ spoke it on Mount Sinai. When we do so, we will see that no mention is made of food, drink, or assemblies.
The Commandment has to do with accomplishing our work in six days and resting the seventh day:
Exodus 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Exodus 20:9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
Exodus 20:10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
Exodus 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Now, let us examine the 14th Chapter of Romans. Absolutely no mention is made of the Sabbath; nor of work or rest. Instead, the entire chapter pertains only to food and drink. The church in Rome was comprised of Jews and Gentiles. From the time ancient Israel was given the Levitical food laws to separate them from the Gentiles, they made a distinction between “clean” and “unclean foods” And, after the Babylonian captivity, some Jews observed the fast days mentioned in Zechariah 8:18-19.
Most certainly, the traditional fast days were optional to keep --because God never commanded them! Yet, those fasts that were never commanded by God and the Levitical “clean” and “unclean”food laws that were no longer a covenant requirement were causing friction and schisms in the church at Rome.
Here, Paul clearly introduces the subject of fasting:
Romans 14:2 For one believeth that he may EAT ALL THINGS: another, who is weak, EATETH HERBS.
We have a fasting precedent in the book of Daniel where Daniel and his friends abstained from the king’s meat and wine. (They ate pulse and drank water.) Daniel 1:5, 8, 12
The context of Romans, verse 5, demands that Paul was referring to observing the optional fast day --or not observing the fast day by eating all things every day.
Romans 14:5 One man esteemeth one day above another [fast day]: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
Verse 6 reads:
Romans 14:6 He that regardeth the [fast] day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the [fast] day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.
You may search the scriptures end to end and you will not find one verse that says that the Sabbath was ever changed from the seventh to the first day of the week. Nor one verse that says the requirement to keep the Sabbath has been canceled. Since there is no scriptural authority for disregarding the Sabbath then it could only have been changed by the tradition of man! There were TEN commandments given by the very mouth of God for all to hear that day on Mount Sinai. There are still ten. If you are not keeping the Sabbath then you are breaking God’s law.